Christchurch design contest gets global attention

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 13:42 29/01/2013
Kevin McCloud
ON THE JUDGING PANEL: Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud.

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A competition to design and build an urban village in Christchurch has received "strong interest" from international architects and designers.

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson said 58 entries had been received for the urban residential design competition, called Breathe.

The judging panel, which includes the BBC's Grand Designs television show host, Kevin McCloud, will select three finalists by the end of next month.  
 
The competition sought innovative housing development designs from consortiums that had to include a professional designer and a developer.

The winning design for a medium-density housing development will be built across from Latimer Square. The village will have a minimum of 50 dwellings and will occupy a 10,000-square-metre site on the corner of Madras and Gloucester streets.

Entries closed on January 15.
 
Thirty-six entries were submitted from New Zealand and 22 from overseas, including several from China, three from Italy and one from Egypt. 

"The high quality of entries ensures it will be an exceptional competition," Williamson said.
 
"It will help breathe new life into central Christchurch and show the rest of the country and the world how to make inner cities more desirable places to live."

The winner will be announced in August.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said he was impressed by the response to the competition from New Zealand and overseas entrants.

"The new development will inspire and excite a new generation of residents to live within Christchurch's central city, where we are rebuilding what will be one of the most modern and livable cities in the world," he said.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment chief architect Duncan Joiner said the entries demonstrated the challenge had been "capturing the world's imagination".

"While only three concepts will be selected to progress to phase two, with the ultimate winner of that phase being built in Christchurch, other New Zealand cities, in particular Auckland, could also benefit from the design ideas and concepts entered in the competition," he said.

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